The most common way to put newborns to sleep is motion sickness. Mom’s warmth and smell soothe the baby, and the monotonous swinging movements are lulling. At first, this way of lulling seems to be a lifeline for mom. But when the baby grows up, and the habit of falling asleep in this way remains, laying him harder and harder. The child becomes heavier, and it is not easy for mom to carry it in her arms for a long time. Then the questions arise: how to put the baby in a different way, how to wean from motion sickness?
The difficulty lies in the fact that there is no universal way, just as there are no two identical children. It will not work out to develop an algorithm of actions that will help every baby. But it’s worth trying to summarize some of the recommendations and find out how to put the baby to sleep without motion sickness.
The benefits and harms of motion sickness on hand
Pediatricians and parents still have not come to a consensus about whether it is harmful or not to rock the baby. Each side has its own arguments.
When mother takes the baby in her arms, he calms down, smelling and warming his body, hearing the beating of her heart. The kid relaxes and falls asleep. Opponents object that the vestibular apparatus of the newborn is poorly developed, so this way of laying can provoke dizziness and poor health up to the point of loss of consciousness.
The positive aspects of motion sickness in the arms:
- providing close bodily contact with the mother, necessary for the baby to grow self-confident;
- the baby calms down, because motion sickness reminds him of the conditions in which he was in the womb, when it was warm and comfortable;
- the baby relaxes, distracted from abdominal pain or discomfort during teething.
- the need for the constant presence of the mother when the child falls asleep;
- the baby grows, rocking it in his arms becomes physically difficult due to increasing weight (as a rule, for this reason, most mothers try to refuse motion sickness when the child is 1 year old);
- when growing up, the baby can learn to manipulate his mother and be naughty, then he will have to lull him in this way not only in the evening, but also during the night;
- motion sickness becomes a physiological need, a habit, without which it is difficult for a baby to imagine his life.
When should a child be weaned from motion sickness?
When and how to wean a child from motion sickness, only the mother determines based on the needs of the crumbs and subject to the readiness of both for changes. There is no universal answer to this question, because each tandem mother-baby is unique.
Of course, it is better not to accustom to motion sickness from the very beginning of the child. But if this has already happened, then, most likely, it will be problematic to influence the situation in the first six months of life. Too small a child may not be ready for such a change. This will cause stress for both him and his parents. Therefore, it is better to try to put the baby to sleep without motion sickness after 6-8 months.
If such an attempt is unsuccessful, pediatricians recommend postponing it until the baby reaches the age of one and a half years, when he is already able to abandon this habit and do without motion sickness. Sometimes a child cries during motion sickness, making it clear that he does not like it, even if before that he fell asleep only in this way. Mom will definitely notice such a moment, then the weaning will pass without any problems.
How to wean a child from motion sickness: methods and features of the process
If mother nevertheless decided to cancel the baby’s motion sickness before going to bed, she will have to be patient.
We can recommend dividing this process into two stages:
- Replace motion sickness on hands with bedding or stroller.
- Accustoming a child to falling asleep in a crib without motion sickness.
At the first step, the cradle with motion sickness, which will allow you to unload your hands when laying the baby, will become a faithful mother’s assistant. On the street during a walk, a stroller will become such a replacement. But even a very tiny child is able to distinguish warm mother’s hands from the cradle. Fear, resentment, anxiety, most likely, will cause his loud protest.
If mother firmly decided to wean the baby from motion sickness, then she should not take him in her arms at the first request. You can shake the crib, sing a song, gently massage the back or legs. In most cases, this helps. It is very important for the baby to feel that his mother is nearby.
After overcoming this step, you should try to teach your child to fall asleep on their own. The second stage usually goes much easier than the first, because the crumbs are already a little prepared. To help him, you can imitate the smell of mom in the bed, putting some of her things there, for example, a pillow, sweater or a small towel. The child can turn to this thing and give a dummy if he sucks it.
Be sure to sit next to the baby when he falls asleep. His mother’s voice will calm him down, for example, a lullaby. In this case, it is advisable to avoid bodily contact. In the future, when the child learns to fall asleep completely without motion sickness, it will be possible to turn on the nightlight, which will help him to feel calm and safe, and leave immediately after laying down.
In order for the mother’s actions to succeed, it is necessary that the child has a comfortable bed in which he will feel comfortable. It is recommended to hang bright toys over the crib that will help him distract from his mother.
You can not make changes in the habits of the child if his stomach hurts or his teeth are cut. For innovation, you need the baby to be healthy and in a good mood. On average, it takes about 10 days for a mother to teach her a baby to sleep on her own.
But do not forget that every child is unique. Someone will readily reorganize and adapt to the new requirements of their mother, and someone will loudly and desperately protest.
Then mom needs more patience and time, and it also helps to know some tricks:
- before going to bed with a child you need to take a walk: fresh air and impressions will tire him and make it easier to sleep;
- warm baths before bedtime will help your child relax;
- for the baby to sleep well, he needs to be fed tightly before bedtime.
After a year, a child can be offered to fall asleep with his favorite toy or read a fairy tale to him. Such a ritual produces a conditioned reflex in the baby to fall asleep after these actions.
In which cases the child should not be weaned from motion sickness
The child should not be weaned from motion sickness if:
- He is unwell: the child has a fever, teeth are cut, a runny nose or stomach ache.
- Mom is quite happy with this way of laying down to sleep. Harm by his science is not proven. If motion sickness is quite acceptable for a mother-child tandem, and this does not bother her mother, then you should not change the established habit just because someone advised me to do it.
- The child is categorically against the new rules, refuses to sleep differently, the daily routine is violated, the calm of the whole family has disappeared. In this case, you should postpone the attempt for a while and return to this venture later. It is possible that the baby has not yet ripened for such a change. Most children, by the age of two years, themselves prefer motion sickness to fall asleep in a comfortable bed.
In any case, mom should understand that learning from motion sickness is a difficult undertaking, requiring great patience and love. Subject to certain recommendations, the child will soon learn to fall asleep on his own. If the process does not proceed as easily as we would like, you should not be upset. In any case, this should not become an end in itself. If the baby is categorically against it, then it is better to postpone this venture and repeat it later.